2007-02-25 06:11 am (UTC)
PS:16 - Through the Trapdoor (Bloomsbury 1997) - 1
High winds and thunderstorm knocked out our power again today, so I'm a bit late getting to this once again. I should be sleeping. I should be showering to get the dirt out of my ears from working outside today. But I have to do this, don't I?
1) The Forgetfulness Potion. When in God's name would something like this ever be useful? Do you really want to teach it to a bunch of 11-year-old?
2) Harry's headaches and nightmares. They are getting worse. Is Voldemort somehow more focused on Harry than he was before? Does he consider him more of a threat since Harry saw him in the Forest?
3) Harry and Voldemort. Harry is very focussed on Voldemort and on keeping him from getting the Stone. Ron and Hermione are not. Harry takes Voldemort personally, because of his parents. This demonastrates the power of prophesy. If Voldemort hadn't tried to kill Harry as a baby, Harry would not now be so keen on thwarting him. Isn't "thwart" a wonderful word?
4) The 1637 Werewolf Code of Conduct. There she goes, mentioning werewolves again! I never really noticed how many references there are to them this early on. JKR must like them or something.
5) The twins and Lee playing with the giant squid. The giant squid (or "Gerald", as I affectionately refer to him) is friendly. It is present from the beginning, and is mentioned on more than one occasion in every book. And yet it never does anything important. Is it just a detail JKR added to make Hogwarts that much more colourful a place, or is the squid going to be important? Maybe it will eat Voldemort. I'd like to see him survive that!
6) Harry's scar. Even this early on, Harry recognises the pain in his scar is a warning. Ron and Hermione don't quite believe him yet, but it's a good thing that Harry at least is aware of the significance.
7) "...he couldn't shake off a lurking feeling that there was something he'd forgotten to do." Has someone been slipping our hero Forgetfulness Potion?
8) The dragon's egg. It's interesting that it's Harry who realises about the stranger Hagrid met at the pub. It seems more like the kind of thing Hermione would figure out. He sounds almost as paranoid as I do with my theories, but he ended up being right! I am crossing my fingers that I'll be right about one or two things with DH comes out.
9) A well-rounded education. If any of the trio had known any Greek mythology, they would have known exactly how to deal with Fluffy. And so would anyone else. And Hermione seems like the type who would have been really into that sort of thing from a young age. I know I was.
10) "Something you have to say is more important than the Ministry of Magic, Potter?" What a telling statement we have here from McGonagall! And what does it tell us? McGonagall doesn't consider Harry to be "special". This child of prophesy, saviour of the wizarding world, is just another student so far as she is concerned. And I don't just think that it's her being fair and even-handed with the students, either. Harry is clearly upset and excited in this scene, but she is not prepared to take him seriously at all. Oh, and Professor? In answer to your question: Rather a lot of things, it turns out.
2007-02-25 06:12 am (UTC)
PS:16 - Through the Trapdoor (Bloomsbury 1997) - 2
11) Snape being sarcastic. Immediately after the trio part company with McGonagall, they run into Snape, who knows they are up to something. Now, it is my personal belief that it's not possible to read someone's mind without them knowing something is going on. I don't think Snape has been inside Harry's mind at all yet. But I do think he is a shrewd judge of character, and I think it's entirely possible that McGonagall has also just told him what the trio told her.
12) "Be warned, Potter -- any more night-time wanderings and I will personally make sure you are expelled." Snape makes empty threats. Harry's been all over that castle at all hours, and been caught by Snape numerous times, with no result. There's no way Dumbledore would allow Harry to be expelled, and surely Snape knows it. Also, this statement is directed at Harry, despite the fact that Hermione is right there and she was with Harry last time he was caught.
13) Hermione waiting for Flitwick. Snape knew exactly why she was there. His generous fetching of Flitwick called her bluff. Lesson learned: Hermione is a bad liar.
14) Finally, Harry is taking things seriously. Harry doesn't even know what the wizarding world was like the first time Voldemort was at the height of his powers. All he knows is that it was bad and his parents died. But even know he doesn't fully understand how much it sucked, he knows how important it is to prevent it happening again. This is the moment when he becomes more than a pawn in the game. He's prepared to sacrifice his place at Hogwarts to prevent it happening. And the older he gets and the more he understands,
God JKR alone knows what he'll be willing to sacrifice.
15) "I'm never going over to the dark side." Harry is already resolved to die if he has to. But it's sort of weird that he would think he might be given the option to choose the other side. Surely he wouldn't think Voldemort would give him that choice after what happened the first time they met?
16) "You don't think we'd let you go alone." This book is starting to sound like the overall series writ small. Ron and Hermione echo this once again at the end of HBP, when they say they're not coming back to Hogwarts either. Once again we see them realising that their education means very little if Voldemort is in power. They are learning to prioritise from a very early age.
17) Trevor! There he is again, trying to get away just as adventure is afoot. Was he planning on hopping off after the trio? Also, we can pretty much assume that Neville now knows about Harry's super-secret Invisibility Cloak.
18) "I'll fight you!" Go Neville! Gryffindor all the way! And he knows his strength isn't in magic, so he prepares to go at them hand to hand.
19) Petrificus Totalis. Where does Hermione pick up these jinxes? You'd think she'd be studying "useful" stuff, and scoffing at this sort of thing.
20) Under the trapdoor. I have to wonder, is this a section of the castle that is normally cut off from the rest, or has it been re-configured somehow just to protect the stone? What would this space normally be used for? What has it been used for in the past? Harry's long fall makes me think of when they drop down until the pipes at the end of CoS.
2007-02-25 06:13 am (UTC)
PS:16 - Through the Trapdoor (Bloomsbury 1997) - 3
21) "If anything happens to me [...] send Hedwig to Dumbledore." Why didn't they do this before they started out? Surely getting word to Dumbledore was at least a big a priority as following "Snape" to the stone.
22) Hermione isn't practical. When she's under pressure she misses the obvious, as with lighting a fire to destroy the Devil's Snare.
23) Things guarding the stone.
- Fluffy (Hagrid): The harp has been used to get through.
- Devil's Snare (Sprout): Don't know how Quirrell got through.
- Room of keys (Flitwick): The right key has been damages, so got used. This one actually seems designed for Harry.
- The chessboard (McGonagall): Strangely, this one doesn't look like it was used at all before the trio get to it. Very odd, considering the violence demonstrated by the pieces. Did it let Quirrell through? This challenge seems designed for Ron. I must say, the chess scene is awfully cool in the film.
- The Troll (Quirrell): Dealt with by Quirrell.
- The potions riddle (Snape): The potions don't appear to have been touched, either. If they had been, how could there be any left for Harry to drink? This challenge proves exactly how clever Snape is. And a bit of a poet as well! I can understand why this scene was left out of the movie. It's very cool in the book, but it's not as action-oriented as it needs to be this close to the climax of the film.
- The Mirror of Erised (Dumbledore): But we'll deal with that one in the next chapter.
24) Ron *would* want to be a knight. Amateur players don't usually see the threat the knight can pose, and I think that is Ron to a T. And he demonstrates his own willingness to make the necessary sacrifice in this scene. Does Hermione ever do this? Maybe when she takes the rap for going after the troll early on. If I were Hermione, this would have been the moment when my crush on Ron started. Funny, I forgot that in the book, they leave poor, unconscious Ron to his own devices. I guess that shows how seriously they are taking this whole thing.
25) "I might get lucky again." Oh, brave boy! And so right.... Sometimes I forget how easy it was to love Harry in this book, since he's such a little angstmuppet later on. This scene is another one for the Harry/Hermione 'shippers. And I do believe it's possible that she had a crush on him early on.
26) Why have a way through at all? Why not just make the Stone impossible to get to until each person involved removes their protection? The potions and keys especially bother me here. Why even have one there that will let you through, or the broomsticks to catch the key? Why not just leave those ones safely in Dumbledore's posession? For that matter, why doesn't Dumbledore just carry the stone in his pocket and not tell anyone?
Bedtime again. I'll have to do the last chapter on the way to and from work tomorrow and post when I get home.